The Global Taiwan Institute is pleased to present a book talk with Shawna Yang Ryan, author of the critically acclaimed novel “Green Island.” The book won the American Book Award (2017), Goodreads Choice Award Nominee, Best Historical Fiction (2016), An Amazon Best Book of February 2016, A March 2016 Indie Next Great Read, and Penguin Random House International’s first OneWorldOneBook title.
“Green Island” is a stunning story of love, betrayal, and family set against the backdrop of a changing Taiwan over the course of the 20th century. The novel unfolds the story during Taiwan’s martial law period in 1947. As the Chinese Nationalists act to crush the uprising, Dr. Tsai becomes one of the many thousands of people dragged away from their families and thrown into prison. His return decades later, is marked by alienation from his loved ones and conflicts among his community. Years later, this troubled past follows Dr. Tsai’s youngest daughter to the United States, where, as a mother and a wife, she too is forced to decide between what is right and what might save her family – the same choice she witnessed her father make many years before.
As the novel sweeps across six decades and two continents, the life of the narrator shadows the course of Taiwan’s history from the end of Japanese colonial rule to the decades under martial law and, finally, to Taiwan’s transformation into a democracy. But, above all, Green Island is a lush and lyrical story of a family and a nation grappling with the nuances of complicity and survival, raising the question: How far would you be willing to go for the ones you love?
This event is part of GTI’s ongoing series of cultural programs, which are supported in part by Spotlight Taiwan, a project of Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture.
Doors will open at 4:30 pm and a book talk with the author will begin at 5:00 pm. Light snacks and refreshments will be provided. Please contact GTI Program Assistant Jonathan Lin (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have questions or concerns. Kindly RSVP by October 31.
Shawna Yang Ryan is a former Fulbright scholar and the author of Water Ghosts (Penguin Press 2009) and Green Island (Knopf 2016). She is the Director of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. Her writing has appeared in ZYZZYVA, The Asian American Literary Review, The Rumpus, Lithub, and The Washington Post. Her work has received the Association for Asian American Studies Best Book Award in Creative Writing, the Elliot Cades Emerging Writer award, and an American Book Award.
We are grateful to the Taiwan Academy, Ministry of Culture, Taiwan for providing resources to the GTI cultural programs series.